I’ve been getting a bit of media scrutiny these last couple months (mostly positive) due to the crazy coverage about air pollution, and I wanted to share a couple highlights. First was a well-done segment on BON TV, “Smog Spurs Air Mask Sales” discussing Beijinger’s concerns about air pollution. Here’s the link to the video; the segment starts around minute six (warning: you probably can’t see this in China and need your VPN).
Atlantic Cities: A Month In Beijing = Smoking 5 Cigarettes
The second feature is a nice article in the esteemed The Atlantic magazine’s Atlantic Cities website, written by Debra Bruno about my “crusade” against air pollution in Beijing. Here’s a quote from the article, which you can read here:
Crazy bad days, according to Saint Cyr, are the equivalent of 75 percent of one cigarette a day. “So if you don’t smoke and you are really healthy, it is something to think about,” he admits, although he argues that the health effects of being overweight and inactive are far worse than a little air pollution. “My overall theme is that people, if they’re freaking out about air pollution and they’re five or ten kilograms overweight, they’re really missing the point about their relative risks, what they’re gonna die of,” he says.
At the same time, Saint Cyr acknowledges that mortality from air pollution is a problem in Beijing. Lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes all rise in polluted cities like Beijing. In China, the individual risk might not be significant but because of the size of the population, the pollution could mean that “hundreds of thousands die prematurely,” he says.
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